“I don’t believe music is gonna last. We don’t need it. It needs us. The industry is exploiting us, trying to give us emotions and feeding us fuel for anarchy.” Ebenezer Adams 2000.
Ever wondered why some bands/artists never really capture every drip of the magic of love? I have on numerous occasions and I usually put it down to the big bad business. It just seems strange how artists fail to re-erect the sense of floating, the tingling sensations, that feeling of a grin that won’t go away and all the other feelings that I can’t put into words. Hope I’m not the only one. Love is such a magical thing, and I know there have been many successful attempts to recapture it. Maybe it’s just different for different people, well, we are all different individuals after all. I guess someone would say Marilyn Mansons ‘Sweet Dreams’ does it for them and someone else is bound to believe Westlife are the world’s greatest devotion duplicators; just don’t ask how or why…
For me, the first time I heard Jill Scott, via her creation for the Roots, ‘you got me’ which was sung by fellow soulstress, Erykah Badu, I felt the hairs on every part of my anatomy shiver. Maybe it’s just me... oh, it did top the charts across the pond in the US of A.
A year or so later the record ‘Who is Jill Scott’ lands in my CD tray and I smack the play button. BANG! All the stress and strain of my world appears to vanish. Lying eyes closed I can picture my past, present and future love. Jill Scott has somehow become my living ghost of love. This album is haunting, maybe that’s why I get tingles. Jill Scott, whilst honestly summing up what love is - and not just the good bits - in a way that you need to hear to truly appreciate; seems to be doing a whole lot more besides (more on this later!). A few people who’ve heard and caught the Jill Scott bug include Mos Def, The Times(“debut of the year”) and none other than Mister Niké©-Air-Jordan who co-funds the Hidden Beach Recordings label with Sony/Epic.
….Anyway! Onto comprehending these tune for you. The subtitle ‘Words and Sounds Vol.1’ is the gracious way to simplify this album. I don’t think I’m gonna get away with leaving it like that, am I?
Words sung in the soul shadowing way that only Gospel or Mo-town can. These words would not recline flat on a page either. Within the intro Jill Scott nods at her inspiration, the legendary Gil Scott Heron, whilst welcoming us to her world of beat poetry and real life. Take ‘Watching Me’ with lines like * “I feel man; like I’m under some kind of microscope/satellites over my head/transmitters in my dollar” and ‘One is the magic #’ which respectively reiterates the 70’s classic with parodies like “if I add myself to myself/with you and you again/there is just me,”* these are the type of words which separate Jill from yo Destiny Child’s, Satan Dion’s and Samantha Mumba’s. This is nice’n’painful reality, bay-bee!
That’s the words out of the way, now onto their soundtrack. Miss.Scott has taken a clump of influence from Hip-hop, evident right from the off. Phat beats, samples and tasty production, in a nu-old-skool way, you can compare this to the past masters like the Sugarhill Gang or Stevie Wonder, as a simple analogy, if you so wish. Gospel has a huge impact on the beauty of this record. And there is a whole lot more; earthy bass lines, sprinkling samples, the sound of running water and the other sounds and samples on _‘Who is…’ are as fresh as gale force winter wind.
If you have heard past single ‘Gettin’ in the way’ and felt tempted to buy this, then get it. If you’re still a virgin, well, to Miss Scott, then take my word for it. I get so few records that I love, out of so many but this one has really got me. It is touching, genuine, thought provoking, and sensually shows all sides of our hearts and relationships. And if that isn’t enough, Jazzy Jeff from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air produced this album!
The probable question on most male lips is "who is Mr.Scott?" cus this gal sounds all kinds of sexy. Jill Scott is part of the future musical revolution. She's not just fighting for any sexist feminism. She’s just doin’ her thing as part of the battle. Even if it is televised (recently she was on Jools Holland!) it’s gonna happen through my eyes. Jill is just one of many, who are chiselling at the foundations of an industry which is shovelling shit down our throats. Things will change. The winds of change are blowing. That was what my vision told me. Bah humbug to you all!
Now, I must find some more musical pills.
10Sean Adams's Score